Most Americans aren’t interested in space tourism — except millennials
Millennials aren’t using their vacation days. Combined, they command more than $1.3 trillion in annual spending. And FOMO — fear of missing out — pushes them toward experiences over material things.
So why not put all that time and money toward a vacation in space?
According to a Pew Research Center study released Wednesday, a majority of this younger generation of Americans — 63% — would be up for it.
Millennials, who are now in their 20s and 30s, are the generation most interested in space tourism, the study found. The idea attracted only about four in 10 Gen Xers, who are between about 38 and 53 years old, and 27% of Baby Boomers or older generations of Americans.
The most common reason given for wanting to go was a desire to do something unique.
That makes sense. A 2014 Harris Poll found that instead of acquiring material things, about 80% of millennials would rather go out and experience the world; it’s where some of their best memories are made.
Going into space ‘a dream’
Take Seth Buckner, a 22-year-old who graduated college in May and is taking two months off this summer to travel across Europe.
“I’m all about experiences, so going to space would be a dream for me,” he told CNN. “I would 100% be the first one to go if I had the money for it.”
Money was the reason many cited in the Pew study to nix a space vacation, saying the trip’s price tag of hundreds of thousands of dollars would be too expensive. Others said it was too scary or that their age or health would keep them from leaving Earth.
So far, fewer than 600 people have ever made it into space. But with increased commercial options provided by out-of-this-world companies like SpaceX, a weeklong flight around the moon and back could soon be within reach.
Despite the interest in space travel, only about half of the roughly 2,500 Americans surveyed think it’ll actually happen.